Asteroid or Comet? That is the Question
|Title||Asteroid or Comet? That is the Question|
|Author(s)||Alexander A Scarborough|
|Keywords||Four Laws of Planetary Motion, cometary fireballs|
|Journal||Proceedings of the NPA|
In 1802 Heinrich Olbers identified the Asteroids as remnants of a disintegrated planet. Substantiated evidence in the scientific literature supports the accuracy of his observations; e.g, the Four Laws of Planetary Motion (1609-1995) reveal how Planet Asteroids was placed in the fifth position among ten original planetary orbits around our Sun during the dynamic layout of the Solar System some five billion years ago. Most remnants of the disintegrated planet(s) still occupy their planetary orbit(s) as small, irregularly shaped planetoids classified as three types of asteroids: stony solids, stony comet shells, and metallic, with the largest, Ceres, being an integrated Moon-like combination of the three types. In 1794 Ernst Chladi published a first work arguing for the cosmic origin of cometary fireballs and the generic connection between fireballs, meteriorites, and meteors. Substantiated evidence adds strong support to his findings; e.g., the burned-out shells of Phobos and Deimos (the two inactive moons of Mars) are shown to be former fiery comets. Evidence reveals that comets are periodic ejecta from larger nuclear energy masses, and are relatively short-lived in terms of a few thousand years. Specific examples are given. The evidence clearly differentiates between asteroids and comets, while revealing that they are neither planetary building blocks nor primordial leftovers from a Big Bang -- findings that are proving essential to understanding our Solar System?s origin, anomalies, history, and future changes as functions of time.